Off-Campus Stabbing Results in Two Wounded Students


An off-campus fraternity party turned violent Nov. 13 when two men became victims of a knife attack.

The victims, Joseph Dickenson and Joshua Sawyers, are UVa-Wise students.

At approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, Sergeant Jason Taylor of the Wise Police Department responded to two complaints of stabbing at the off-campus Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house at 605 B Hurricane Road.

In his report, Taylor described the wounds sustained by Dickenson and Sawyers as “cut/stab wounds to the face and head.” Dickenson received a cut from his upper ear lobe to his chin, and Sawyers was cut from the right side of his neck to nearly his trachea. Both men required attention from a local trauma center

The victims and other witnesses identified Ricky Lynn Hamilton, 55, as the alleged attacker.

While police gave no motive for the incident, witnesses suggested that this is not the first argument the fraternity house residents and Hamilton have had. When interviewed by police, Peggy Hamilton, the alleged attacker’s wife, said  that she and Ricky Hamilton had gone to the house that night and confronted some of the residents.

Ricky Hamilton was charged with two counts of malicious wounding and arrested Nov. 13.

Following the news of the attack, other students of the College expressed their concerns, and questioned why the school did not issue a timely warning notice to alert them of the crime. College Clery Compliance and Student Conduct Administrator Stephanie Shell explained the requirements that must be met before releasing an alert to the campus community.

“A timely warning is for a Clery crime in our Clery-defined geography, not just on campus,” Shell said. “This location is actually included in our non-campus Clery geography. However, another element that must be present is that there is a continuing danger to the campus community.”

Since Ricky Hamilton was arrested shortly after the incident, Shell said that “…there was no continuing danger to the campus community and no timely warning was required.”

Both Dickenson and Sawyers were released after treatment for their wounds. Hamilton is being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield and was denied bail at a Wise County General District Court hearing on Nov. 15.

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